IoT has been a major buzzword in the technology sphere for several years. The industry itself has grown at a remarkable rate. According to a report by Spoke Intelligence and ReadWrite, in 2018, there were 5,383 businesses building the Internet of Things, employing nearly 500,000 workers, having raised $256 billion in funding, and creating hundreds of billions of dollars in value.
In just a few short years, IoT has gone from a novel concept to a crowded market. So, if there are more than 5,000 other businesses out there calling themselves an IoT company, how do you stand out from the crowd? And should you still call your business an IoT company or is the term now too generic to gain any traction?
What’s your hook?
Your marketing hook is designed to arouse interest in your product or service, and elicit further interaction between your company and the prospective customer. To create an effective hook, you must decide on the message you want to convey to your target audience and find the one angle that will differentiate your brand from everyone else’s.
To hook customers, you need good bait. This is where understanding your audience’s needs, wants, characteristics, and preferences becomes very important. Do your research to gather this information before developing your messaging.
One of the first places companies look for hooks is at the competition. However, be careful not to fall victim to a “me too” mentality. This is especially easy to do in a hot industry like IoT. But this kind of thinking will make you blend in instead of standing out.
How should you refer to yourself?
Even though the market is becoming more saturated every day, at this point, it’s still important to utilize the word IoT in your messaging. However, the focus must be on finding the message that resonates with the audience you are trying to engage.
People are growing increasingly savvy about the IoT and what it is, but it’s got to be more than black magic going forward. They need to understand the inherent value of utilizing the IoT—and working with you as a trusted partner along their IoT journey.
You may use IoT as a buzzword to gain attention and increase brand awareness, but it’s not going to generate leads on its own.
How do different vertical markets refer to the IoT?
According to analyst firm Analysys Mason, in 2019, the roles of different IoT platform providers will become more defined and smaller platform players and operators will increasingly sharpen their focus on the enterprise market with clearer vertical propositions.
We’re seeing “smart” a lot more on the B2B side – smart city, smart building, smart utility, smart energy. Other options include connected, automated, and autonomous. But the best words to use for your business are the ones that describe what your customer is looking for. That comes from inherent knowledge of your customers’ business drivers and pain points.
So is IoT still a hook? Yes and no. The word IoT still holds a lot of weight, so yes, continue to use it in your messaging, but dig deeper to find the value proposition your company offers, as well as the strategic positioning and key messages that will garner the attention of your target audience.
© 2018 Calysto Communications